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PIPS Director’s book wins top German Peace Prize

Mr. Muhammad Amir Ran, Director of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), secured the top 2016 German Peace Prize for his book “The Militant: Development of the Jihadi Character in Pakistan.”

The peace prize was awarded to top three books that “promote peace, international understanding, and tolerance.” Mr. Rana’s book bagged the first prize.

Thanking the sponsors, Mr. Amir appreciated the acknowledgment of his work. In his speech, he narrated how for the last several years, he has been trying to understand militancy as an “independent phenomenon that has developed stakes in the conflict economy” as well as has “developed links with regional and international terrorism and crime syndicates.”

Mr. Rana laid out how since 1979, three generations of jihadis have come by: the ones who emerged after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; the ones who took arms after the 9/11 event; those who were radicalized after the siege of Lal Masjid.

He argued that when militants are perceived as proxies, it becomes difficult to treat them as the rational actors that they are. “No matter who creates them”, Mr. Rana said, “they gradually become independent, with independent goals and objectives. They pretend to be serving as proxies of the states as long as their certain interests are served.”

Citing his recent commentary, he said the state, which blended religion and strategic fear in the thinking patterns of the nation, believes that “engineering of thinking patterns is simple and the narratives can be produced when ordered. However, a big question mark is raised on the quality of the responses.

His book, “The Militant”, chronicles the journeys of jihadis in three generations. The book, published by Narratives Publishers, is accessed at:

Mr. Rana called for collecting efforts to putting end to overcoming the militant challenge.

The prize ceremony was held at Karachi Literature Festival, an annual literati activity which draws together book readers and authors at one platform.

The German Peace Prize, also called as the Karachi Literature Festival Peace Prize is decided by jury of Pakistani academics and activists; it is a joint project of Karachi Literature Festival, the Consulate General of Germany in Karachi, and Embassy of Germany in Islamabad.